Teapot Trust began providing patients and their families with the opportunity to access art therapy at Alder Hey in February 2018. The art therapy service at Alder Hey sits within the Clinical Health Psychology team, a service providing emotional support for children, young people and their families in navigating the challenges that can arise from living with a medical condition. The team is made up of clinical psychologists, arts therapists and a paediatric psychiatrist.

As well as contributing to the therapeutic provision offered to patients and their families, an important role of the art therapist is to offer consultation to other team members, supporting the use of creative therapeutic approaches. What the team at Alder hey say:

Patients and young people can be referred to art therapy from a variety of different specialities within the hospital supporting them with a range of challenges associated with a physical health condition such as gastroenterological conditions, chronic pain, neurology conditions and cancer. Children and young people navigating a physical health condition can encounter a multitude of worries, challenges and concerns, and art therapy offers a space for the child to explore these. Often children and young people use their sessions to explore anxiety around their physical health and medical treatments.

Parents and families often say that the biggest impact of the art therapy is that it gives their child a separate space where they can safely and creatively explore things which are important them.